How to Prevent Gum Disease


DentistryIn dentistry, the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is definitely true, nowhere more so than where gum disease is concerned. While there are effective treatments for gingivitis and periodontitis, the best strategy is to avoid contracting gum conditions like these in the first place.

Dentistry practitioners often recommend a host of options for preventing gum disease to those most at risk for contracting it. Here are a few of their best pieces of advice.

Top tips for preventing gum disease

  • Know your overall risk for gum disease. A practitioner of dentistry can discuss factors that may influence your susceptibility to gum disease, such as your age, your overall stress levels, and the history of gum disease in your family. Your general dentist or a periodontist (a dental specialist who treats gum disease) can give you an annual Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation to ensure you’re doing all you can to prevent gum disease from taking hold in your mouth.
  • Brush and floss regularly, but not too zealously. Bacterial plaque causes tooth decay, and it is a primary driver of gum disease. Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day are effective ways to reduce the overall number of the bacterial strains most likely to cause infection and inflammation of your gums. However, don’t brush or floss too aggressively, as this can damage your gums and leave them vulnerable to damage from bacterial plaque.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. Your dentistry team can monitor the health of your gums at these appointments, and the prophylactic cleaning of your teeth will lower the amount of bacterial plaque in your mouth, as well.
  • If you have diabetes, make sure it is well controlled. If you have diabetes, there is a much stronger chance that you will contract gum disease, as well. Any positive steps you take to treat your diabetes may also prevent or limit any problems you may experience from gum disease.
  • Get other dental challenges addressed. If you have issues with your bite, talk to your dentistry provider about braces or other corrective measures. If you grind your teeth, see your dentist about having a custom-fitted mouth guard created to protect the health of your mouth.

“A daily oral hygiene regimen, practiced consistently, is the key to preventing gum disease,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a practitioner of cosmetic dentistry located in central Phoenix. “Your dentist can also provide additional support to keep your smile healthy.”

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